1 Execution site(s)
“I personally witnessed Germans and policemen killing Jewish population on the edge of the village of Lyubcha, not far away from the orthodox cemetery. In 1942 the German gendarmerie ordered all the Jewish population to move into what we used to call a ghetto. In the columns there were 500 people.
At the moment of the execution I worked at the mill located rather far and I couldn’t distinguish either the people who fired or those who were about to be shot. The shooting took place at about 400-450m away from the mill behind the cemetery’s garden. Although, it was clearly visible how the German soldiers and policemen made the groups of five or six approach to the edge of the pit, pushed them inside and then fired at them from the top with submachine guns and rifles. Once the first group was shot, they made another one approach and pushed them inside the pit and then fired from the submachine guns and rifles. I was watching the scene for an hour during which more than ten groups were shot.” [Deposition given by a local villager Veniamin R., born in 1894, Pole, to the Soviet State Extraordinary Commission (ChGK): GARF 7021-81-102]
Lyubcha is a village situated 50 km east of Grodno. Before WWII, approximately 1500 Jews lived in Lubcha. There were 2 synagogues and a Jewish cemetery. The German forces occupied the village at the end of June 1941.
A short time after their arrival, the Germans selected 50 Jewish men and brought them to Novogrudok, where they were shot. At the end of 1941, the Jews were relocated into approximately 30 houses, located near the synagogues, which functioned as an open ghetto. Groups of Jews were sometimes sent to nearby properties for forced labor, for example to complete agricultural work. Some of them were also sent to the nearby forced labor camp of Dvorzhets. In March 1942, the ghetto was fenced in and Jews from surroundings villages, like Delatyche, were brought into the ghetto. Later, three members of the Judenrat and Jewish police were shot by the Germans under the pretext of bad hygienic conditions inside the ghetto. Though the fate of the remaining Jews is not completely clear, it seems that a group was sent to the Novogrudok ghetto, where they were later shot in August 1942. Another group was sent to complete road construction near the village of Vorobyeviche, where they were also shot in August 1942. It appears that several hundred Jews were also shot and buried in the cemetery during spring 1942.
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